The deaths from the new coronavirus have reportedly risen to 811 in mainland China according to the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday.
This records, therefore, beats that of SARS, a respiratory disease which began in China in the early 2000s and caused global health care.
Across China, 89 new deaths and 2,656 new confirmed cases were reported, the vast majority in the province of Hubei.
The country’s national health commission says also that a total of 33,738 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak in December.
It reports also that the number of new cases of pneumonia caused by the virus rose by 2,147 and that 81 new deaths were reported over the last 24 hours in Hubei, bringing the total to 780.
The virus, which has spread to about two dozen countries since first being identified, has only claimed the lives of two people outside mainland China, a Chinese man in the Philippines and a man in Hong Kong — who had been to Hubei.